Moving out of an urban centre to establish a business in a regional setting is an important decision as much for entrepreneurs as for their enterprise. Two such entrepreneurs, who came to our region a couple of years ago, explain to us why they’ve never regretted their choice!
Martin Dubois, owner of Yoga Salamandre established in the magnificent Town of Brome Lake since 2011.
Annie Huard-Langlois, co-owner of the artisanal bakery La Mie Bretonne, established in Cowansville since 2009.
Why did you choose a rural region to establish your business?
MD: Because where I live is vital for my mental and physical health and to create a balance between the different spheres of my life. Living in a rural setting, deep inside nature, yet, still less than an hour from Montreal, it’s the perfect balance.
AHL: For the quality of life, the more affordable real estate, the pleasure of living in a town developed on a more human scale, for the nature!
Name some good reasons for establishing a business in a regional setting.
MD: For all the reasons stated above and because there’s less competition, or, if there is competition, it’s healthier and less aggressive. The living environment is inspiring, healthy and inviting. We have much more time for ourselves, since we’re not spending it in transit, traffic jams and all the frustrations they cause.
AHL: The square footage is much less expensive and our proximity to the U.S., Montreal and Sherbrooke are important advantages depending on the business opportunity we wish to explore.
We’ve talked about the advantages. Now, let’s discuss some of the main challenges that come with establishing a business here?
MD: It can be difficult to make people leave their homes once they’ve comfortably settled in!
AHL: Although there’s less competition, there are fewer potential clients as well. For commerce, a lot of money needs to be invested in marketing efforts to get people to recognize us in the entire region.
What would you tell urban entrepreneurs to convince them to establish their business here?
MD: Be bold—jump in—go for it, believe in yourself, in your dreams, and choose what is best for you because, if you’re happier in your new life, your business will be better off as well, on all levels!
AHL: I would tell them to carry out an intensive market study, establish relations with local groups [Local development centres, Chambers of Commerce, Municipalities, etc.] and to get ready to work hard to establish themselves, without imposing themselves too much.
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